Activation of human class-II restricted T cell clones by short peptides

B. Gran, R. Martin, J. Pascal, L. Tranquill, C. Pinilla, A. Tzou, H. F. McFarland, R. Houghten, B. Hemmer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


CD4+ T cells typically recognize 11-15 amino acid long peptides bound to major histocompatiblity compex (MHC) class II molecules. Using soluble peptide combinatorial libraries in the positional scanning format (PS-SPCL) we have previously defined the spectrum of ligands for a human autoreactive myelm basic protein peptide 87-99 (MBP(87-99))-specific T cell clone (TCC) and identified high potency ligands that stimulate the TCC at picomolar concentrations. To define the minimal peptide length required to activate the TCC we tested a panel of truncated variants of the high potency ligand. Using this approach, we demonstrate that 5 amino acid long peptides can activate the TCC as efficiently as the autoantigen used to establish the TCC. Moreover, non-overlapping N- and C- terminal fragments of the same optimal ligand both activate the TCC. The same peptide fragments were used to establish new CD4+ T cell lines that recognized the peptide in the context of MHC class II The results demonstrate that CD4+ T cells are highly flexible not only in their recognition of peptide structure but also in their peptide length requirements.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)A625
JournalFASEB Journal
Issue number5
StatePublished - Mar 20 1998
Externally publishedYes


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